Published: November 5, 2013
Review by: Ellie Salrin
Photos by: Zak Littrell (axzlmedia.com)
A crisp breeze flowed through the air on a lovely, starlit evening in St. Louis earlier this month. It was a night of uniquely talented performances spread around the city, and it all started at The Pageant. Cosby Sweater got the grooviness flowin’ with their danceable beats and jammy livetronica. The trio, comprised of a singer/producer, saxophone player, and drummer, puts on an enchanting live show and even though the venue was still filling, the people who were there had caught boogie fever and were bouncily getting down. And so began the sonic adventure.
Up next was The Floozies. These dudes have taken the EDM industry by storm with their crush mode future funk. A duo of brothers on drums and guitar/production, The Floozies’ new album Tell Your Mother dropped on GRiZ’s label Liberated Music just days after this show. They played some of their older tracks like “Sunroof Cadillac” and their remix of Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street,” as well some songs off their new album, including a smashing rendition of one of my favorites, “Sex, Love, & Fancy Things.” Funkalicious, booty-shaking music that just sounds so good vibrating through the ear drums and feels so good movin’ and groovin’ to. Keep an eye out for these guys; they’re on the cusp of blowing up.
As dreadheads trickled into The Pageant and it eventually filled up, it was soon time for Lotus. These boys are a dynamic group, making danceable tracks that range from melodic, hip hop, dirty bass, and rock. They always manage to bring a fresh approach to whatever style they attack next and impressed many with their latest album brimming with rap collaborations, Monks.
This night, they opted into some of their older stuff, playing several songs from their 2004 album Nomad. They opened up with “What Did I Do Wrong?” from their 2012 album Build, which has a badass, edgy groove to it. They broke into this extra funky sounding tune that I couldn’t put my finger on, later discovering it was classic Earth Wind and Fire song “Shining Star,” a track they had only performed but once before. We pretty much all got on the bus to funky town that night. Other songs I was happy to hear included “Travel,” “Spiritualize,”and encore “Tip of the Tongue,” all sophisticatedly executed with the right amount of sugar and spice.
With the show ending somewhat early around 11:30, I hightailed it over to 2720 Cherokee for some sexy, rowdy bass music. The show going on there featured Pleasure, Shlohmo, and XXYYXX. I missed the first two, but heard Pleasure (aka The Car Thief) threw down an incredible, ferociously flirty set. Mastermind behind hot new artist collective Trill Kill Kult, this guy has been producing tracks for three years and has been gaining steam, sharing the stage with the likes of Starkey and Gladkill, and preparing for an upcoming Midwest to West Coast tour with Filibusta.
Shlohmo, trill extraordinaire, threw down a shattering yet chill downtempo set which was finishing up as I arrived. Would’ve loved to see Shlo’s trappy future bass which I heard sounded impeccable on 2720’s sound system. Next was XXYYXX...this guy will knock your socks off. At a ripe 17 years young, this Orlando native has a deep understanding of production well beyond his years. He takes you on a journey through ethereal soundscapes accentuated by trippy synth effects that lead you in and out of a waking dream. Each track sounded exquisite live, full of crushing wobbles that bounced off the art-filled galleria walls. On the dancefloor, it was almost humorous as XXYYXX threw out tempo changes out the wazoo. It sounded insanely unique yet perfect and it gave the crowd a challenge as they moved to the beautifully inconsistent rhythms.
I swung by an after party at The Demo for a little bit after 2720 to catch Late Night Radio. An up and comer who’s been touring with Michal Menert for the past couple months, he delivered a dirty yet melodic and soulful bass set that was just what the doctor ordered at that point in the evening. He mentioned he collaborated on a track from Menert’s upcoming album. Suddenly realizing that daylight savings had hit at 2 a.m., we all gladly accepted our extra hour to party and so the evening continued well into the wee hours.
Oh, what a night this was. I got to pack in a bunch of artists I had never seen before into one evening. A genre-defying night in which each artist was talented in different ways than the next. The music industry is at a favorable point right now because people are no longer accepting cheap tricks. People want original production, unique never-heard-before sounds, or real instruments included in their dance music. And musicians are delivering just that. So much fresh talent...it’s exhilarating. Keep it comin’!
LivetronicaDrum and BassDubstepElectroGlitch